Full steam ahead for plant
Tablelands Sugar Mill has become a hive of activity with works to build a $75 million Green Energy Power Plant under way and construction on track to start in May.
FGF Civil Contractors began early excavations on the site in November last year and the site preparation is expected to take five months.
The plant will run on bagasse, a 100 per cent renewable sugarcane fibre, which will fuel the green power plant and supply process steam and power to run the sugar mill as well as excess power into the local grid.
General Manager, Business Development Hywel Cook said the Tablelands Mill was MSF Sugar’s “most modern mill” and was chosen as the site for the power plant because it was “project ready”.
“The mill was ready because we already had a good transmission line to the local Ergon grid ... and the mill is already very steam efficient with a large surplus of bagasse,” he said.
“We have completed the initial site preparation ahead of the wet season.
“We have ordered the major long lead time items – the biggest item is the steam turbine.”
Mr Cook said the power plant would bring benefits that would last well into the future.
“Producing electricity for eight to nine months of the year will allow MSF Sugar to supply electricity into the local Tableland region Ergon Energy grid during peak demand periods (the first quarter of the year),” he said.
“We will also displace electricity supplied into the region from the coal fired power stations from Central Queensland.”
Mr Cook said MSF Sugar hoped the Tableland Mill site would later be developed into a bio-refinery complex.
“The power station is a critical piece for this complex,” he said.
The Green Energy Power Plant is expected to be in full operation in mid-July 2018.
German EPC specialist Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions was chosen for the Engineering, Procure, Construct contract for the large-scale project late last year.
MSF Sugar General Manager – Business Development, Hywel Cook, and chief executive officer Mike Barry inspect bagasse, which will fuel the new green power station at Tableland Mill near Mareeba.